Five tips for looking after your roof this winter

Over winter, a lot of damage can be caused to your roof if you’re not careful. However, there are steps you can take now, to prevent damage later.

Here, Roof Maker discuss their five top tips on how you can look after your roof, to make sure it’s protected against the elements this winter.

Replace broken tiles and damaged bricks

Over time, roofs are naturally susceptible to erosion due to wind and rain. This erosion can result in damaged bricks or broken tiles, and whilst they may seem harmless in summer, they can become problematic in winter.

With the rain and ice (and who knows, maybe even snow!), this can soon cause leaks in your house, which could quickly lead to further damage.

Look after your roof this winter, and get any broken tiles or damaged bricks replaced as soon as possible. A roofer should easily be able to sort them out, and the cost will be a lot less than if you were to get a leak.

Insulate your roof

You shouldn’t just look after your roof on the outside, but the inside too.

Insulating your roof is extremely important, as not only will it lower your heating bills, it will also help to prevent roof damage in the form of ice dams.

Ice dams are where a ridge of ice forms around the edge of your roof, preventing the flow of water from rain, melted ice and snow.

The impact of ice dams are huge: not only could you get a leak in your roof, but further damage can be done to your walls and insulation.

The reason why an insulated roof will prevent this, is because heat will stop escaping through the roof, meaning the ice won’t melt.

With all the benefits insulation carries, the time to get it sorted is now.

Clean your rooflights

Rooflights are added to allow natural daylight into your home, but if you don’t give them the proper upkeep they need, they could soon cause issues.

Over time, rainwater can stain and discolour window glass. That’s why every month – and especially in winter – you should clean your rooflights. You can either buy a specific glass-cleaning product, or use warm water and a mild detergent.

Cleaning your windows won’t take long if done regularly, but it’s just one more thing you can do to ensure your roof is well looked after over winter.

Clear your gutters

As if the rain and ice wasn’t enough, over winter –especially at the beginning – you’ll have falling leaves and tree branches to contend with too.

Unfortunately, if left, these can clog up your gutters which will lead to rusting on your roof. If nothing is done about this, then it could result in a replacement roof needed, which is extremely costly.

You can prevent this by looking after your roof, and clearing your gutter if there are any leaves, dirt or other debris piled up in there.

You can clean the gutter yourself: all you need is a ladder and a gutter scoop to remove the debris. Alternatively if you don’t like heights, hiring someone to clean your gutter for you shouldn’t cost much at all.

Check for mould

Mould grows in damp, humid conditions, which although may not sound like a typical British winter, can still strike.

If winters are mild, and you don’t have an insulated roof, heat can rise up into your roof. If rainwater is stagnant on your roof due to a blocked drain or gutter, then you have a hotspot for mould, moss or mildew to grow.

Insulating your roof and clearing your gutters and drains are all steps you can take, but you should also check your roof for signs of mould anyway.

If left, they can weaken roofing material which will cause leaks and cracks, and will cost a lot of money to repair.

If the build-up is minor, you can usually get rid of it yourself, by using a brush to scrub the thickest section of the build-up. You can then mix a solution of bleach, water and TSP to spray on your roof and kill the mould – just don’t forget to wear a respirator so you don’t breathe the fumes in.

Once that has been done, rinse your roof with water, and the mould should go. If not, you may need to seek professional help.

Whilst winter brings about harsh elements such as wind and rain, there are steps you can take to look after your roof now, that will help to prevent damage over the next few months. None of these steps will take you much time, but they will help to save you a lot of money in the long run.